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Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  3,025 ratings  ·  490 reviews
In Anti-Diet, Christy Harrison takes on diet culture and the multi-billion-dollar industries that profit from it, exposing all the ways it robs people of their time, money, health, and happiness. It will turn what you think you know about health and wellness upside down, as Harrison explores the history of diet culture, how it's infiltrated the health and wellness world, h ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published December 24th 2019 by Little, Brown Spark
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Nancy
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I don't usually review books about health, diet, and fitness. Oh, I've read quite a few in my life. As a matter of fact, what don't I know about diets? Mom put me on my first diet when I was twelve years old! I was at that growth spurt time when kids get chubby and then, seemingly overnight, reach their full height and become teenagers. I recall the diet involved not having fruit, and I loved fruit.

At fourteen I was dieting again. Twiggy was in; curves were out. The charts said I was overweight.
...more
Denise Cormaney
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book blew me away. If you’ve ever struggled with your weight or body image, regardless of your size, you need to read this book. So that’s probably everyone. It’s well-researched, well-written, and here to take diet culture down.

Listen, my loves. It’s almost the beginning of a new year. I know so many of you are planning to go on a diet. Low carb, keto, paleo, intermittent fasting? Weight Watchers? A Whole30 “reset”? Whatever bullshit “it’s not a diet it’s a lifestyle change!” thing being s
...more
Marsha
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly researched and well-written, I hope this book gets a ton of readers. The historical context on dieting is fascinating and it's an eye-opener to realize that diets are pretty much guaranteed to fail, that only 2% of dieters succeed in keeping weight off. Dieters blame themselves of course when this happens, and this is exactly what the industry banks on. Format of this book makes it readable, with anecdotes and personal stories interspersed with information about the myriad of ways tha ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
"But upwards of 90% of people who intentionally lose weight gain it back within five years."

This is one of the, if not the biggest reasons that people argue against dieting. But it's a shitty reason. Know why?

Because when many people reach their goal weight, they stop following the rules that enabled them to lose weight in the first place, and gain that weight back. It happened to me.

It wasn't the food's fault. It wasn't diet culture's fault. It was my own fault for making the mistake so many ot
...more
Suzy
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
My mind has been completely blown by Anti-Diet. I want to hug Christy Harrison, then go reread this book.
This was my first time reading a book about intuitive eating. I have followed some of the intuitive eating registered dietician (RD) community on instagram and even met with an intuitive eating RD earlier this year, but I still needed a primer like this. Intuitive eating involves letting go of the diet rules that control many of our lives, and learning to listen to your body and your mind to
...more
Susan
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
This book is very well researched, and I appreciated the extensive footnotes to use in future arguments with “weight loss is healthy” friends. I highlighted so many passages, and have been sharing quotes on Instagram right and left.

I wish I’d had the info in this book when I was 15, before I started down the road of roller coaster weight loss and gain, over exercise, and disordered eating. I felt like a failure for 25 years before I finally sought therapy for my “binge eating” (which was in rea
...more
Wanda
I used to work with a woman who was perpetually trying a new diet and who wanted to try each fad device that came along. I finally told her that if they actually worked, they wouldn't be relegated to small ads in the back of magazines, they would be trumpeted on the cover of Time magazine. I doubt she paid much attention to me as she was very caught up in her magical thinking. I should know, I've spent years of my life pursuing the goal of weight loss. If losing weight was easy, trust me, no one ...more
Emily Bazman
To start, I read this both for myself, as well as for my clinical practice as a registered dietitian. For myself, as someone 10 years into recovery from my eating disorder. For my practice, as someone trying to learn more about HAES and intuitive eating to use with my long-term care patients. While there were many excellent points in this book and I loved the history of dieting/society’s ideals for bodies, the actual discussion of intuitive eating was lacking.

For a book about taking back your l
...more
Ragen
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is extraordinary. Thoroughly researched, and also inclusive of the personal stories that research biases can leave out, Anti-diet is packed with the answers to all the questions people have about diet culture and intuitive eating, and serves as an expose on the industries that create harmful myths around size, health, and fitness, and then prey on their victims for profit. This book provides such clarity, and reading it is felt like coming up for air!
Laila (BigReadingLife)
It’s taken me 42 years to get here, but I’m ready to join Christy Harrison and the HAES/anti-diet community in burning diet culture to the ground!
Meghan
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to put into words how much I LOVED this book. I'm so glad I pre-ordered it instead of getting it from the library. It's highlighted and underlined all over and I know there are so many things I will go back to in the future and re-read and will lend it to friends. I already feel more confident as I read the book to share with my friends and family the anti-diet message. It's so validating and freeing to be able to recognize diet culture and how it influences our body image and mental a ...more
Katie Dalebout
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Christy is such a great researcher and writer. She has written a book that is so important in the intense diet culture we live in. I'm so grateful for this work and will be recommending it often. It's a very fun read with stories and the way it is organized. Read it in full, you will learn so much. I did! Even if you listen to her podcast Food Psych, this book is overflowing with more information and anecdotes that i did not know even though I feel pretty knowledgeable on the subject from years ...more
Dawn Serra
As someone in the field of eating disorder recovery, body trust, healing, and sexuality, I adored this book. Despite being a certified provider and activist who has read many books and studies around health, diets, and wellness, there was so much to soak up and learn here.

It's a fantastic look at the historical context of diet culture and it's ties to other systems of oppression, and Christy drives home at regular intervals how the problem is NOT our bodies but instead the culture we are swimmin
...more
Erik
Dec 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So I have been listening to Harrison's podcast for a bit at the suggestion of a therapist. I think she has some good things to say.

However, it is difficult for me to accept that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to all eating issues and that everyone will benefit similarly. Gretchen Rubin's "be Gretchen" slogan comes to mind and her recognition that there are many personality types and many different ways to effectuate change and you need to select the techniques most suited to your persona
...more
Mehrsa
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I think the general message of the book is a necessary and helpful one, but she sacrifices historical accuracy and scientific rigor to get there. First off, we did not just now start restricting food. As long as human society has been around, we've had food taboos and diets. It is by no means a purely American phenomenon that started with diet gurus. Also, she overplays the part about how diet culture is associated with racism--she blamed pseudo racial science on Charles Darwin, which is really ...more
John Martindale
Mar 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobook, politics
A social justice warrior writes a book on dieting! You'll learn the very concept of dieting is racist; saying there is an unhealthy weight is racist; saying weight can negatively impact health is racist, saying that eating nothing but McDonald's isn't good for one's health is racist; saying it is best if you eat whole foods and veggies is racist; saying one should practice moderation and self-control is racist and of course, it is the patriarchy--those loathsome straight white males who are behi ...more
Elizabeth
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we need to burn diet culture to the ground.”
I think this quote sums us what Christy Harrison aims to do throughout this book and in her work in the anti-diet space. Ms. Harrison teaches us so much in this important book that it is difficult to summarize in a review. We learn about the history of diet culture, and how it has gained attention over the decades. We learn about important concepts such as intuitive eating and Health at Every Size. We learn
...more
Amy
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have become an Anti-Diet, Intuitive Eating, HAES junky over this last year, so this book came at the perfect time. As a committed podcast listener to Christy Harrison's food psych and a participant in her 13 week on line course, I now consider myself an armchair expert in all things IE and anti diet. I follow tons of IE and anti diet accounts on IG and I have read probably a dozen books on the topic. This book is the pinnacle! Christy begins by giving us the history that put diet culture in it ...more
Jennifer
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading. For someone who is science-hungry like me, this book ticked all of the boxes. There are extensively cited sources, and the author really breaks down the problems with much of the science around dieting and weight loss (such as poorly structured studies, compromised scientists, incomplete understanding of results, and more). I found this to be strongly based in reality, fact, and science, and as a former journalist, Harrison really goes full investigative reporter ...more
Véronique
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
This subject is very important for everyone to hear and I was glad to read more about it. It has helped me become more mindful about the dangers of diet culture, and for that I am grateful. However, I did find quite a few inconveniences.

The general message of this book is as necessary as it is helpful, but the author sacrifices scientific rigor to get there. For example, when she mentions Social Darwinism (without name it as such), she blatantly criticizes Charles Darwin for this school of thoug
...more
Samantha Derby
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A true revelation! If you have ever been on a diet/wanted to be on a diet/tried to implement a “lifestyle change”/thought there was something wrong with you because you couldn’t make your body smaller...which is to say all of us...then I highly recommend. I wish everyone would read this book, especially the history behind diet culture, which shows quite clearly the oppressive beginnings of “The Life Thief” as Harrison calls it. You get an in depth look at the forms diet culture has taken to stea ...more
Katie
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If is time to reclaim your time and energy and kick the Life Thief to the curb! Who is the Life Thief? Diet culture. The messages that your body isn't small enough; that weight and being healthy are linked (fact check: they are NOT); and the disconnect too many of us are experiencing from living truly present and full lives. I admire Christy Harrison greatly. She incorporates immense research that dismantles many of the claims from the health and "wellness" industry. She speaks to the social jus ...more
Zoe Hynes
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is so culturally important!!!!! I cannot stress that enough. Harrison combines a myriad of scientific evidence, anecdotal evidence from herself, clients, and others in the field, and common sense into the masterpiece of Anti-Diet. This is information everyone needs to have, and I wish I had learned much earlier in my life. If you’ve ever “failed” on a diet, been not okay with your body, been told to lose weight instead of given real medical treatment, or just care strongly about social ...more
Ashley Soete
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Christy is dropping a lot of truth bombs in this book, but what I appreciate the most is how compassionate and respectful to the reader she is. I felt cared for while reading this book; the validation she provides is a really important tool to recovering from immersion in toxic diet culture. She is shining a light on the dark origins of diet culture (racism, patriarchy). So grateful for the work she is doing to burn diet culture to the ground.
Belinda
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book. Nobody is better than Christy Harrison and getting deep into the history, science and sociology of diet culture and presenting it in an accessible way. It’s rather heavy on facts in the first half but it really has to be so that people are ready to delve into the second half where she talks about how to reclaim your life back from the life thief that is diet culture. Highly recommend.
Michael Morgan
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ya’ll I CANNOT recommend this book enough! I have recently become interested in the anti-diet movement but I was curious to learn more and this book was the perfect place to do that.

I love how Christy Harrison uses a social justice lens to explore diet culture. I was very impressed and happy to see that she included transgender and nonconforming folks in the conversation as well.

A large part of this book that really resonated with me was Harrison’s argument against the privileged and controlling
...more
Terri Jo
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is going to be a game changer for me. The concepts presented in this book make perfect sense. Restriction and deprivation -- as tools to lose weight -- just don't work. I've been on some sort of diet since I was 5 or 6 -- once my pediatrician told my mom I was too heavy for my height (height/weight chart) I was basically told not to eat. Diet culture was introduced to me very early. But this year I said no more -- I just can't go on another diet only to binge and sneak all the ...more
KP
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2020
Really excellent overview; I like to read books like this right at the New Year, since suddenly everyone is talking about their diet, and I was especially grateful that this one came out when it did, since I listen to her podcast semi-regularly and could "hear" her voice while reading it. I wish I could hand this out to folks. As it is, I'll be heartily recommending it to anyone who expresses even the slightest amount of doubt about if diets work. ...more
Angela
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought I was picking up a book to continue my study of intuitive eating and I opened up a social justice book-that also builds on my understanding of IE. I want to give copies of this to everyone: my doctor, my equity advocates, my friends who have started yet another diet or lifestyle program. I’m so much more motivated to change the world instead of changing my body size.
Sarah
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I have read on this topic, and I loved it.
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“Disordered-eating behaviors don’t exist in a vacuum. If you start eating to soothe yourself after experiencing trauma, for example, you’re not doing that in a culture of “Do what you gotta do to get through the day, and also let me help you process your trauma.” No, you’re doing it in a culture of “OMG YOU’RE EATING SO MUCH, YOU’RE GONNA GAIN WEIGHT AND THAT’S ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE—YOU NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT, STAT! (And PS, trauma? What are you even talking about? Just suck it up and move on!)” So even when people start eating to self-soothe, without any connection to weight or body image, they eventually end up absorbing our culture’s toxic beliefs about food and bodies. In our society at this moment in history, it’s basically impossible not to fall into diet culture’s clutches at some point.” 3 likes
“Your health isn’t entirely within your control, either, despite what diet culture wants you to think. Health isn’t something you can wrestle into submission by sheer force; certain circumstances beyond our control—genetics, socioeconomic status, experiences of stigma, environmental exposures—can affect our health outcomes. We can’t permanently change our body size through food intake and exercise, the way we’ve been told we can, and the same is true of our health—which, of course, is not dependent on body size. That is, even if everyone ate the exact same things and moved their bodies in the exact same ways, we’d all still have different health outcomes because of genetic differences, experiences of poverty and discrimination, and even deprivation that our mothers experienced during pregnancy. Many things contribute to health, meaning it’s not all down to personal responsibility, the way diet culture wants us to believe—not by a long shot.” 2 likes
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